I taught my Sunday School class today…I’m the alternate teacher for when our regular teacher can’t be there. Our lesson was on FAITH vs WORKS. When I saw that this was what our lesson was about, my first thought was, “Oh, golly! They’ve heard this a thousand times…what more can I say about it?” (As a classroom teacher for over 30 years, it always bothered me if I thought a student was bored because he already knew what I was teaching!)
At any rate, I read many resources & commentaries and ended up being surprised that my way of thinking evidently is in the minority. I have always been taught (and therefore believed) that SALVATION comes from our faith. When we ask Jesus into our hearts, He grants us grace; and our salvation is our free & unequivocal gift from Him...and I still believe this. I also thought that all Christians believed the same thing, but after much studying I found out that I seem to be in the minority instead of the majority. I won’t go into too much length, but let me share with you this fact that has been gleaned through various research projects…..
When surveyed, 53% of those adults surveyed (including Christians and non-Christians) said that they believed that if they were generally good and did enough good things during their life, they would “earn” a place in heaven.
Now I don’t really want to get into a long theological discussion, but in my faith (Baptist) we are taught that what gets you into heaven is your FAITH and not your WORKS . And that’s all I’m going to say about that; but there were a couple of vital points about FAITH that I made in our lesson today that I want to share because they really resonated with me and touched my heart. These are not MY words…I gleaned them from my study.
FAITH is like a 3-legged stool….and you know what happens if one of those legs is missing or broken!
The 1st leg is: FAITH BELIEVES SOMETHING. The beginning of any relationship with God is a belief in Him and in His son Jesus.
The 2nd leg is: FAITH FEELS SOMETHING. There is (or should be) an emotional component to our faith….when we accept Christ, when we truly believe in Him and all He stands for, when we really want to lead a good Christian life….we are going to be changed...our heart is changed.
And the 3rd leg is: FAITH DOES SOMETHING. If we believe all the right things & feel all the right emotions, then all of that should be manifested in tangible ways. That’s where our WORKS come in.
FAITH & WORKS are also like a REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER CUP😊 The peanut butter & chocolate go hand-in-hand and if either ingredient is missing you don’t have a true Reese’s! Our FAITH & WORKS are the same!
Soooo…..in my belief we have to have FAITH first, and when we are filled with FAITH our WORKS will follow….or at least they should.
I left my class with this question and I leave it for you as well…
If God came to you today and asked, “What have you done for me lately?” what would your answer be?
REMEMBER: “Christianity” is a noun; but it should also be a verb!
Hoping & praying you have a lovely week and that you will be filled with the love, grace, and FAITH overflowing.